Half a million pounds. That's how much the average house in London now costs. Half. A. Million. Sodding. Pounds. Actually, if we're being precise, it's £514,000, and for god's sake how has it come to this?
The latest Office for National Statistics figures for July 2014 have revealed this psychological hammerblow. For anyone still harbouring crazy dreams of owning their own home, first time buyers in London are paying an average of £374,000 from average incomes of £74,000. Yeah, we laughed bitterly, too. And don't forget that crashing through the £500,000 barrier involves an extra 1% stamp duty.
It all adds up to a 19.1% increase in prices year on year for July. If we're scratching around for silver linings, the rate of increase is slowing slightly from an insane peak of 20.1% in May; though to undermine that, that's still way higher than anything we were seeing before last autumn. The ONS stats are based on what people are actually paying, so lags behind the actual current state of the market, and last month there were other tentative signs that the market is peaking.
Alex Hilton, Director of Generation Rent, said:
"London is bringing down the shutters on a generation of young workers who want to make a life for themselves in the capital. The London Assembly has backed Generation Rent’s manifesto for fixing the housing market, and we need similar enthusiasm from the Mayor and the government."
Green Assembly Member Darren Johnson said:
"The Mayor has continued to maintain building more homes will help slow the rise in house prices. But he keeps signing off plans for yet more luxury apartments which rich investors snap up, fuelling even bigger rises in property prices. The Mayor is rejecting all the sensible measures to keep a lid on prices such as ending tax breaks for buy-to-let investors and controlling overseas investment. He has also failed to promote community land trusts, or support a tax on rising land values."
In the meantime, stop sobbing and consider spending the price of the average London home on your own island. You can actually do that.